lack of suffering does not cause people to behave worse. It draws out the best in them.
My lack of suffering during upsetting situations does not get in the way of me wanting to get things back on track with my daughter or to reconnect with Angus. Suffering is not what brings out the best in humans. This may sound obvious, but many people, myself included in the past, believe that self-punishment, pushing, and being hard on oneself is what is required to excel in life. Many believe that this is what is required for success, and if you let yourself just be, you will devolve into a lazy, no-good, worthless, unproductive human being who will be rejected and unloved.
When this is believed it creates tremendous anxiety and insecurity. Our human need to experience love is innate. In Bruce Perry’s book Born for Love, he writes about how our drive for love is hard wired because our physical survival has been so dependent on community from antiquity. This biological drive is the innate intelligence behind life expressing itself. As such it does not make sense to do anything to threaten the experience of connection and loving bonds with others. So if we believe we need to be hard on ourselves and improve ourselves in order to be lovable, we will do that with a vengeance and suffer as a result.
The trouble is-rather than this bringing out the best in us-the pressure we exert on ourselves through pushing and striving causes stress and constriction. This gets in the way of optimal performance. Anxiety and insecurity limit our functioning. Stress brings out the worst in us, especially where relationships are concerned.